Search engine optimization & your Web host
Choosing a Web host provider for your site is no small decision. When you make a
choice of a Web page host, you are actually placing your Internet business in the
hands of your Web host provider. Choosing the wrong Web page hosting plan can cause
permanent damage to your search engine placement.
Selecting a Web page host is like renting an office. You want to get it right the
first time. It is always possible to move somewhere else, but it's no easy task to move
your entire business - not to mention the damage that already could be caused by
We are going to look at some little known facts about Web page hosting and how it can
effect your search engine placement:
Web host providers that will ruin your search engine placement:
Did you submit your site over and over again without ever getting it indexed in the
search engines? Or was your site indexed, but is nowhere to be found when you are
typing your search terms into the engines? Your Web host provider might be the cause
Note this quite interesting statement about Web hosting from one of the major
search engines, AltaVista:
"If being found via search engines is important to your business, be very
careful about where you have your pages hosted. If the hosting service also hosts spammers
and pornographers, you could wind up being penalized or excluded."
AltaVista is not the only search engine enforcing this policy against certain Web
page host services. This is a common practice causing many sites to lose rank while the
Webmasters are wondering why. Choosing the right host for your Web hosting needs is
of great importance if you really care about your search engine position.
Here is a short list of things to watch out for:
- Shared IP hosting. Many Web hosting services are not giving out unique IP
addresses to customers. The name-based system of virtual Web hosting allows multiple
domains to be hosted by a single IP. This means several hundred domain names could
all be using the same IP address. Are you sharing an IP address with people you don't even
If someone else that is hosted on the same server as your site gets banned on a search
engine, then your Web site will be caught and banned as well. This is happening on a
regular basis and causing serious problems for those who are affected.
- Downtime. It goes without saying. If your Web host provider cannot keep servers
up and running 24/7, people will not be able to find your site. The search engine spiders
won't find it either. They will assume your site is gone and remove it from the
search engine index. Then you will have to resubmit and wait weeks or months for the
spider to re-index your site. If your site already is indexed and ranking well, it
might lose it's position altogether.
No matter what web host provider you are using, I highly recommend signing up for a free
site monitoring service like EasyMonitor. This guarantees that you're alerted within minutes when
your site goes down. This enables you to get to work immediately to solve the problem and
dramatically increase the time your site is up and running, earning money for you.
The speed and reliability of your Web host provider will depend on several factors:
Look for a Web page host with A T3 Connection (or better) close to a primary
Internet backbone, safeguards against systems, network or power failure, several
connections to the Internet (in case one goes down), backup power supplies and
"uptime guarantee" with at least 95% uptime.
- No logs. Access to raw web log files is one feature often missing with low
quality Web hosting services. Some Web host providers are providing logs, but do not
include referrer information. Others are deleting logs frequently, making it impossible to
use them effectively. Make sure your Web hosting service gives you access to raw
server logs, preferably in "Extended Common Log File Format", a standard that
can be understood by most log analyzers.
The server logs will give you some valuable information for your search engine
optimization work, including what search engines people are using to find your site,
exactly which keywords they are typing into the search box, and when the search
engine spiders visit your site. This is crucial information. You cannot properly optimize
your site without it.
|Have you ever done a search in Google for
a highly competitive search term? Did you notice any sites hosted on free hosting
services and shared domains among the top results?Sites hosted by free Web hosts are not
likely to get a high ranking for competitive keywords. If you are serious about your
search engine placement, you should make sure your site is hosted by a search engine
friendly Web host.
What else to look for when choosing a Web host provider? Daily back up of your
data, high bandwidth and, of course, the quality of their support services. In addition,
you must consider the features offered by the Web page host. Some features to
consider are: The space available for your site, monthly transfer limits, POP mail
server availability, support for CGI, SSI, Perl, databases and FrontPage 2000
extensions, secure server access (SSL), anonymous FTP and shopping cart software.